local http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5733/all en-US Make Money in Your Hometown: Become a Tour Guide http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-in-your-hometown-become-a-tour-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-money-in-your-hometown-become-a-tour-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4538045474_1dba6a4a1f_z.jpg" alt="tour guide" title="tour guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Peer-to-peer travel experiences are emerging all over the Internet, connecting local guides and advisers who want to make some extra money on the side with travelers who want an out-of-the-guidebook experience.</p> <p>And from what I've gleaned, it appears to be a win-win for everybody.</p> <p>Here are three peer-to-peer travel sites that provide a few different takes on the travel guide/adviser experience. Maybe one (or more) of them is a great fit for you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">make some extra cash on the side</a> (or conversely, to enjoy a different travel experience on your next vacation). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-the-no-vacation-nation">America Is the No-Vacation Nation</a>)</p> <h2>SnappyGo</h2> <p><a href="http://www.snappygo.com">SnappyGo</a> connects local advisers who create custom travel itineraries with travelers who want local recommendations for where to stay, eat, and play. They have almost 11,000 advisers worldwide, covering 1,800 destinations in 181 countries (at the time of writing).</p> <p>Your job is to provide itineraries and travel advice that goes beyond what the traveler can find in a guidebook. To qualify, you must have an intimate knowledge of your city, and the application process ensures you can give customers the sort of advice they're looking for.</p> <p>Travelers can find and book you directly through your online profile, or they send an adviser request to SnappyGo, who matches up adviser profiles, at which point you can send a message to the traveler demonstrating why you're the best candidate if you want the gig. (Here are some of <a href="http://www.snappygo.com/blog/how-to-give-travel-advice/">SnappyGo's tips on giving travel advice</a>).</p> <p>Once booked as an adviser, you can do an optional 10-minute Skype call to clarify the customer's needs, then construct an itinerary that includes suggestions on where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and other travel tips.</p> <p><strong>Time Commitment and Pay</strong></p> <p>Most requests are pretty simple (for example, three nights in Paris), and take the adviser a couple of hours to complete at most.</p> <p>For this service, you set the rates. A two-to-three-day itinerary usually goes for $30-40 USD, and you can make up to $150 for a two-week itinerary.</p> <p>The better your credentials and experience, the higher a rate you can command. SnappyGo takes a 30% cut of your fee, so bear this in mind when providing your quote.</p> <p><strong>Adviser Experiences</strong></p> <p>Hugh Ghouleh created 20 itineraries in his first six months since joining. (To his credit, he has travel and tourism industry experience as well as a large list of destinations he is an approved adviser for on <a href="http://www.snappygo.com/travel-planner/hugh-ghouleh">his profile</a>).</p> <p>He says &ldquo;the advice given can range from a simple inquiry about accommodation and some activities to details of hidden spots away from touristic eyes,&rdquo; and the rates you charge vary accordingly.</p> <p>Hugh's best experience was helping a busy and well-traveled American couple who were first-timers to Japan. As a result of his itinerary advice, he says &ldquo;not only were they able to drive around Japan to reach wherever they liked from spots only locals would know, but I included a list of language tips for conversational issues...&rdquo;</p> <p>The above itinerary took him three hours to put together, and he made $200 from it. Other income amounts for Hugh have ranged from $40 for a three-day trip to $150 for a one-week trip. &ldquo;It really depends on how much effort and time you put into it as a travel adviser.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Traveler Experiences</strong></p> <p>Alex Maier is currently planning a trip to New York City from Germany. &ldquo;I have been there before, but I wanted more local tips and had specific questions. I have seen all the major sites, so the typical tips you get anywhere online weren't enough this time.&rdquo;</p> <p>So she found a local adviser whose profile matched her interests, and she received tips, homepages, prices, and even operating hours that she knows will be useful on her trip.</p> <p>Alex is happy with her itinerary, and suggests that it's &ldquo;very convenient for people who don't have a lot of time searching for things to do and just want a good itinerary based on their needs.&rdquo;</p> <h2>HipHost</h2> <p><a href="http://www.hiphost.com">HipHost</a> is a marketplace for unique local tours that you won't find in a guidebook. All the tours listed have special themes, ranging from architecture to chocolate to girls' night out to running, and on and on. They have almost 1,000 local hosts in more than 100 worldwide cities (mostly in the U.S. at the time of writing).</p> <p>Creating your profile and listings is free, and you can post as many tour itineraries as you wish, based on your experience and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">local passions</a>. Travelers will browse these listings and book you if they like your tour description and theme.</p> <p>You need a minimum of three personal recommendations on your profile to have your listings published, but these can be as simple as personal references from family members or friends if you don't have tour guests to attest to your awesomeness at the outset.</p> <p><strong>Time Commitment and Pay</strong></p> <p>When creating your tour, you submit your minimum hourly rate, being sure to incorporate any overhead costs (like cab fare, admissions, or refreshments). HipHost tacks on approximately 20% (depending on the number of guests, tour duration, and type of request) to your quote as their fee.</p> <p>What you charge is entirely up to you; most guides charge $20 per hour, but depending on your experience and number of participants, you can increase that rate. HipHost also encourages travelers to tip, so you'll likely get a little extra bit of pocket change over and above your hourly rate.</p> <p><strong>Host Experiences</strong></p> <p>In his first (approximate) four months since joining HipHost, Eric Stassen has given six tours. Apart from the initial setup and sending a few emails back and forth to travelers, the only time commitment has been in giving the tours themselves, which usually last from two to four hours.</p> <p>&ldquo;Compensation is quite fair, but earnings are sporadic,&rdquo; says Eric. He makes $20/hour regardless of the number of tour participants, and HipHost tacks on an administrative fee.</p> <p>Eric has a few tips for aspiring HipHosts: &ldquo;Make sure the tour reflects what excites you personally about the city. It's easy enough for a visitor to look up a list of 'must-see' spots on their own; they're coming to you for <em>your</em> perspective.&rdquo;</p> <p>He says it also pays to do your homework to make the tour as seamless as possible. &ldquo;It's impressive if you can bring your guests directly to the correct bus stop just before the bus pulls up, and embarrassing &mdash; not to mention a waste of their time and money &mdash; if your tour ends up incorporating a long uneventful walk and/or a wait of more than a few minutes.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Traveler Experiences</strong></p> <p>Kartik Isvarmurti is a managing director in India who wanted to visit some large Internet companies in San Francisco. &ldquo;After I posted my tour request on HipHost, Dan contacted me and arranged the Silicon Valley Tech Titan Tour. Together we visited some of the top tech companies in San Francisco, giving me a customized tour that was tailored to exactly what I had requested. With HipHost, I now feel like I have a friend in every city I visit.&quot;</p> <p>And Sarah Nielsen was part of a group of six people who chose the &quot;Beer and Chocolate&quot; tour in Boston. &ldquo;We thought this would be a neat and different way to see the city,&rdquo; she says of her search for something fun and local.</p> <p>At the end of the day they ended up at a bar. She says it was the perfect ending to the tour because &ldquo;not only was it a local dive, but Bill recommended a beer for each of us, based on our food tastes...and we all liked it! It was such a fun way to try new things and get a local's take on where to go in Boston. They were places we might've walked past on our own, but never would've known to go into.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Shiroube</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shiroube.com">Shiroube</a> is a Japanese word meaning &ldquo;to be a guide&rdquo;. The premise of the service is to connect locals who act as tour guides with travelers who want a custom tour experience. They currently have more than 5,000 guides in 3,000 cities worldwide.</p> <p>Although the initial concept has been based on locals giving tours, co-founder and CEO Tatsuo Sato envisions a broader scope of services based on running a marketplace for people to meet and exchange services. &ldquo;We don't limit how to use the service as long as users keep the rules.&rdquo; The services in question include anything from just email tips to itineraries to full tour-guide services.</p> <p>You start by creating an account with Shiroube and placing an ad (currently your first three ads are free). Be sure to outline your specific expertise so travelers with similar interests can find you (for example, history, adventure, drinking buddy, etc).</p> <p>Once the traveler is in communication with you, you set the terms between you &mdash; from specific services to rates. In some cases, are simply seeking &ldquo;international friendship or language exchange, while others set a reasonable price&rdquo; for services provided, says Sato.</p> <p>With Shiroube being fairly new and set up as a general marketplace, the payment system is still vague at the time of writing. Shiroube is currently testing a pricing model through the use of corporate sponsorships that will ultimately make the service free for users.</p> <p><em>Do any Wise Bread readers have experiences with peer-to-peer travel services </em>&mdash;<em> either as advisers or as travelers? Please share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-in-your-hometown-become-a-tour-guide">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Travel local side jobs travel tours Fri, 10 Aug 2012 09:48:44 +0000 Nora Dunn 944035 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Score Cheap Locally Grown Food http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-score-cheap-locally-grown-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-score-cheap-locally-grown-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2722328813_78ea673579_z.jpg" alt="Score Cheap Locally Grown Food" title="Score Cheap Locally Grown Food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on scoring cheap locally grown food, common retirement mistakes, and how to have an inexpensive wedding.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2012/04/19/7-ways-to-score-cheap-locally-grown-food/">7 Ways to Score Cheap Locally Grown Food</a> &mdash; Shop in season to score cheap locally grown food. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/making-5-common-retirement-account-mistakes.html">Are You Making These 5 Common Retirement Account Mistakes?</a> &mdash; Have you made the mistake of withdrawing money early from your retirement account? [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/5962/how-to-have-an-inexpensive-wedding-kmulligan/">How to Have an Inexpensive Wedding</a> &mdash; To have an inexpensive wedding, consider using your iPod for music instead of hiring a band or DJ. [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/qa-savings-advice-for-college-saving-for-retirement/">Q&amp;A: Savings Advice for College &amp; Saving for Retirement</a> &mdash; When saving money for college, consider using a 529 tuition savings account. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/how-to-sell-your-home-fast.html">How to Sell Your Home Fast</a> &mdash; Sell your home fast by getting your home in shape to sell. [Kiplinger]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheatsheet.com/personal-finance/dont-be-too-spend-happy-5-signs-you-have-too-much-debt.html/?a=viewall">5 Signs You Have Too Much Debt</a> &mdash; If you're unsure of how much debt you have, then you are carrying too much debt. [The Cheat Sheet]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?_p=87df975d-a6a3-4024-9f59-6c7b59794610&amp;ref=bfv&amp;post=488c4deb-fb8f-434c-a0b0-3b0fb682bf7c">4 Ways to Kill Impulse Buying</a> &mdash; To kill impulse buying, think critically about your purchases. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/04/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for.html">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</a> &mdash; Never pay full price for books. Instead, take advantage of the library. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Decorate-Rental-Apartments-22742698">6 Tips for Decorating Rental Apartments</a> &mdash; When decorating your rental apartment, don't use Blu-Tack. [Savvy Sugar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-things-not-to-do-on-earth-day">5 Things NOT to Do on Earth Day</a> &mdash; On Earth Day, don't depend on plastic. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/04/best-of-money-carnival-152-hosted-by-financial-success-for-young-adults">Best of Money Carnival #152: Hosted By Financial Success for Young Adults</a> &mdash; Don't miss the Best of Money Carnival, featuring the ten best money-related posts of the past two weeks.</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-score-cheap-locally-grown-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-myspace-meets-your-local-producer-fresh-food-makes-a-tech-leap">When MySpace Meets your Local Producer: Fresh Food Makes a Tech Leap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips cheap Food local Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 922764 at http://www.wisebread.com Making Your Web Presence Both Local and Global http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/making-your-web-presence-both-local-and-global <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/making-your-web-presence-both-local-and-global" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/making-your-web-presence-both-local-and-global</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/making-your-web-presence-both-local-and-global" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015720408Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The local flavor of your business is a selling point but you would like to grow your customer base without abandoning area ties or compromising your heritage. Just as offline activities can enrich your digital presence, distinctly local roots can complement your global aura.</p> <p>Appearing both local and global allows your business to:</p> <ul> <li>Deepen the connection to locals among both existing customers and prospects;</li> <li>Establish and reinforce brand positioning;</li> <li>Serve as a destination for tourists or those visiting the area for professional or personal reasons;</li> <li>Generate sales of merchandise, services packaged as products, and professional services.</li> </ul> <p>I have discovered that there are common themes among local businesses with websites that successfully combine worldly sophistication with down-to-earth accessibility. Here are the best of their approaches that serve local and global audiences equally well:</p> <p><strong>Go Deeper Locally</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/how-to-become-a-premier-local-brand-1" target="_blank">Emphasize your localness</a> to enhance your global appeal. That is, explain how your geography, historical roots, area customs, and local customer base have shaped your business. Giving context to your business model demonstrates its global orientation.</p> <p>So, although it may seem counterintuitive, showcasing your localness in order to promote a global perspective can make your business appealing to those outside of your immediate area. Use these techniques for illuminating your world-class personality:</p> <ul> <li><i>Physical location:</i> Show <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=110941004531806862670.000459cc930d2dc4d6dec&amp;ll=35.909074,-79.002686&amp;spn=1.187921,1.658936&amp;t=p&amp;z=9" target="_blank">where in the world you are</a> using Google Maps or similar mapping tools, and give directions to your storefront, office, or whatever site represents your physical presence.</li> <li><i>Staff:</i> Tell customers about your employees, especially those with whom customers are likely to encounter while doing business with your company. <a href="http://www.aldercreek.com/staff-profiles-s24.html" target="_blank">Staff profiles</a> can be formal by listing experience, education, and expertise, or entertaining by relating leisure activities, fun facts such as the most compelling reason they work for your company, and favorite products that your business sells.</li> <li><i>Image gallery:</i> Illustrate how customers interact with your business.</li> <li><i>Calendar:</i> Let people know about <a href="http://www.skirtsports.com/community/events.cfm" target="_blank">special events</a> in which your business participates or ones you host or sponsor so that they can connect with you or staff members in person and understand what community issues are important to your business.</li> <li><i>History:</i> Tell your business back story and a brief history of the local area, highlighting details that are relevant to your current operations.</li> <li><i>Local vendors: </i>List local vendors to convey commitment to quality sources and sustainability, and further differentiate your business.</li> <li><i>Media coverage:</i> Mention <a href="http://thedandelionpatch.com/index.asp" target="_blank">media coverage and awards</a> to relate the areas in which your business excels.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Embed Global Happenings Into Your Local Offerings</strong></p> <p>Showing your awareness of world events expands your business&rsquo;s reach and appeal. Specifically, taking action to address a global issue emphasizes that you understand how your day-to-day decisions affect people everywhere. But you don&rsquo;t have to focus solely on weighty issues such as hunger, disease, and strife; observe national and world happenings such as new product releases, country celebrations, and national day/week/month events.</p> <p>Consider these ways to give a local face to global happenings:</p> <ul> <li><i>Community involvement:</i> Promote your local involvement with an issue of global concern, ideally one with a <a href="http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/community.shtml" target="_blank">natural connection to your organization</a>. Start a local initiative or get involved with an established program.</li> <li><i>Best practices:</i> Adapt traditions and practices in another region to your local area.</li> <li><i>Appearances:</i> Appear in person or arrange for a representative to connect with existing or prospective customers, media representatives, or vendors at local, regional, nationwide and global events. List these appearances on your calendar.</li> <li><i>Special events:</i><b> </b>Host special events with tie-ins to <a href="http://www.tatteredcover.com/banned-books-week-2011" target="_blank">national</a> or world celebrations.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Offer Resources that are Useful and Entertaining to a Global Audience.</strong></p> <p>Improve the quality of your customers&rsquo; lives in some way through online resources that entertain and educate. At the same time, these resources should broaden your audience, providing more opportunities to generate sales.</p> <p>Add content in one or all of these formats to help customers and showcase your expertise:</p> <ul> <li><i>Videos:</i> Demonstrate techniques and answer common questions on certain topics;</li> <li><i>Reviews: </i>Review products to give insights on selected products as well as the perspectives and preferences of staff members who routinely advise customers;</li> <li><i>Blog posts and podcasts</i>: Deliver information and commentary on topics that may include industry news, common dilemmas, and responses to individual questions;</li> <li><i>Catalog:</i> Sell merchandise and <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/9-signs-your-service-can-be-turned-into-a-product?intlink=us-openf-nav-gallery" target="_blank">digitally-packaged products</a> such as e-books, webinars, or access to premium content.</li> </ul> <p>Having a local <i>plus</i> a global mindset is useful in articulating what differentiates your business from local competitors <i>and</i> companies worldwide, elevating your worth in the eyes of customers. Plus, your unique understanding of global practices and local traditions is valuable in helping nearly anyone in the world to do business with your company, quickly, easily, effectively, and profitably.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/making-your-web-presence-both-local-and-global">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center global trade local marketing online branding small business Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:36:03 +0000 Julie Rains 772750 at http://www.wisebread.com Forget the Phonebook: 3 Local Marketing Initiatives With Higher ROIs http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/forget-the-phonebook-3-local-marketing-initiatives-with-higher-rois <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/forget-the-phonebook-3-local-marketing-initiatives-with-higher-rois-gregory-go" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/forget-the-phonebook-3-lo...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/forget-the-phonebook-3-local-marketing-initiatives-with-higher-rois" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yellow-pages-phonebook-iStock_000000322169XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The phonebook is so 1998. Few people use it anymore, and yet in an ironic twist, advertising in the phonebook has become more expensive as telcos try to boost revenues. Don&rsquo;t play their game.</p> <p><strong>Boost the ROI of your advertising budget by switching your local marketing focus to the following 3 websites.</strong></p> <p>The basic strategy for each of the following options is two-fold:</p> <ol> <li>The first step &mdash; making sure you are listed and have accurate info &mdash; is free for all three of the following sites. It&rsquo;s equivalent to making sure your phone number and address is accurate in the free, basic listing in the phonebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The second step &mdash; buying advertising &mdash; is equivalent to buying an ad in the phonebook. Versus the phonebook, you'll get more reach and better tracking data, which helps ensure you maximize your local advertising ROI.</li> </ol> <h2>1. <a href="http://www.yelp.com">Yelp!</a></h2> <p>Yelp is the premier review site for local businesses. Consumers love it because it lets them easily share their thoughts on local service providers and retail outlets, and in return, get honest reviews of local businesses from their peers.&nbsp;Businesses love Yelp &mdash; honest, reputable businesses, at least &mdash; because businesses that receive positive reviews see dramatic increases in referral <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395891;41475468;y?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=300&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">customers</a>.</p> <p>Start here: <a href="http://www.yelp.com/business" title="Yelp! for Business">http://www.yelp.com/business</a></p> <p><strong>Step 1: Control Your Listing (and Get Stats)</strong></p> <p>Yelp provides business owners that have &ldquo;unlocked&rdquo; their pages with lots of value-added features including messaging options (eg., post offers and announcements, reply to reviewers) and stats on how many people have viewed your business page. <a href="http://www.yelp.com/business/using_yelp">Check out this page for a screenshot of the business dashboard</a> you'll have access to as the owner of the business.</p> <p>The biggest benefit of taking control of your Yelp page is being able to highlight positive reviews of your business and/or responding to reviewers privately. &nbsp;However, don't think that just because Yelp is willing to take your money that it means they will take down negative reviews of your business. &nbsp;They won't, unless it violates review guidelines (eg., contains racial slurs or is second-hand information). &nbsp;As a good business owner, you should take comfort in this policy, because it means your less scrupulous competitors won't be able to hide their shady practices for long.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Buy Advertising</strong></p> <p>Yelp offers two advertising options for increasing your exposure:</p> <ol> <li>Top placement in search results.</li> <li>Showcasing your business on a similar business' page.</li> </ol> <p>You can see&nbsp;<a href="http://www.yelp.com/business/advertising">screenshots of both options here</a>. &nbsp;Pricing varies based on your city, business category, and number of impressions you want to buy. &nbsp;You can talk details and pricing with a Yelp sales representative by <a href="http://www.yelp.com/business/advertising">filling out this form</a>&nbsp;and waiting for a callback.</p> <h2>2. Google Local</h2> <p>Start here: <a href="http://www.google.com/LBC" title="Google Local Business Center">http://www.google.com/LBC</a></p> <p>When consumers search for a local business or a local service (eg., &ldquo;thai food&rdquo;, &ldquo;dry cleaner&rdquo;) on Google, a small map and some business results appear at the top of the search results (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/openforum/localads/google-local-search-results-barbershop.gif">screenshot</a>). &nbsp;Additionally, you get a business details page that can contain information like your phone number, email address, store hours, accepted payment types, photos and videos, and service or product categories&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/openforum/localads/google-local-business-center-business-dashboard.png">screenshot</a>).</p> <p><strong>Step 1: Take Control of Your Listing (and Get Stats)</strong></p> <p>Adding business details and creating coupons is completely free on Google. Start by claiming your business at <a href="http://www.google.com/lbc">Google's Local Business Center</a>.&nbsp;Once you&rsquo;ve verified your ownership, you can start adding details and creating coupons that will appear on your business details page.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s where Google Local become more exciting than the phonebook.&nbsp;On your Google local business dashboard&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/openforum/localads/google-local-business-center-business-dashboard.png">screenshot</a>), you can see what search phrases people are typing in to find your business and where those searchers are located on a map (abstracted to a zip code level to protect searchers' privacy).</p> <p>Click here for more information on <a href="http://maps.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=13416">Google's Local Business Center features</a>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2A: Buy AdWords Ads</strong></p> <p>AdWords is the program where advertisers bid on search keywords and have their links appear next to or on top of search results. &nbsp;While the AdWords program is not specifically geared towards a local market, as an advertiser, you can limit where your ad appears based on the searcher's location.</p> <p>You buy AdWords ads by bidding on how much you're willing to pay for clicks on your ad. &nbsp;Your ads appear on search results for your targeted keywords&nbsp;(ie., phrases people type into the search box). &nbsp;The more popular keywords (eg., &quot;thai food&quot;) will cost more per click than more obscure keywords (eg., &quot;pad thai&quot;). &nbsp;</p> <p>Balancing the cost per click versus the popularity (reach) of keywords is what makes AdWords advertising a bit tricky. &nbsp;It&nbsp;does take quite a bit of management to maximize your ROI. Fortunately, Google allows you to set spending limits so you don't blow your monthly budget, and offers plenty of tools and resources to help you manage your AdWords campaigns.</p> <p>Managing an AdWords campaign is beyond the scope of this article, but here are some resources to get you started:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://adwords.google.com/">AdWords homepage</a> - for getting started information</li> <li><a href="http://adwords.blogspot.com/">AdWords official blog</a> - for the latest news and tips</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470152524?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0470152524">AdWords for Dummies book</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Step 2B: Buy Local Ad Listings</strong></p> <p>These are a new type of ads Google is selling specifically for local businesses. &nbsp;They are currently available&nbsp;only in San Fransisco and San Diego. &nbsp;To get a notice when they are rolled out to your area, <a href="https://services.google.com/fb/forms/locallistingadscontact/">fill out this form</a>.</p> <p>The difference between Local Ad Listings and AdWords is that you don't have to bid for keywords or do any fancy campaign management. &nbsp;Google charges a flat monthly rate for these ads, and shows them on local searches at the top of search results (<a href="http://www.google.com/help/hc/images/maps_148046a_en.gif">screenshot</a>) and in Google Maps (<a href="http://www.google.com/help/hc/images/maps_148046b_en.gif">screenshot</a>). &nbsp;</p> <p>The rate depends on your city and business category. &nbsp;Rates are offered after you've claimed your small business listing in step 1. &nbsp;Once you've claimed your local business and Google has rolled out these ads to your city, you will see a new &quot;Ads&quot; tab in your business dashboard.</p> <p>An advantage of the Local Ad Listing &mdash; in addition to having your business appear prominently on related searches &mdash; is the call tracking. &nbsp;When someone calls the phone number listed on your Local Ad Listing, the call is forwarded to regular phone number, and when you pick up, you will hear a short &quot;this call is from Google&quot; message. &nbsp;Counting up the number of calls you receive from your local Google ad, you can then determine if the monthly fee is worth the number of new leads you receive.</p> <h2>3. Yahoo Local</h2> <p>Start here:&nbsp;<a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com/">http://listings.local.yahoo.com/</a></p> <p><strong>Step 1: Claim or create your Yahoo Local listing</strong></p> <p>Just like Yelp and Google Local, you can claim your Yahoo Local business listing for free. &nbsp;Claiming or creating the listing will allow you to enter additional information and keep your business details up-to-date.</p> <p>The first step is to create a Yahoo login. &nbsp;If you already have a Yahoo email address, you can use that login account to manage your local business listing. &nbsp;If you already have a Yahoo account, login to your account. &nbsp;If you don't already have one, you can <a href="https://edit.yahoo.com/registration">sign up for a Yahoo account here</a> (it's free).</p> <p>Start by doing a search for your business at Yahoo Local. &nbsp;If your business already has a listing, click on the &quot;edit info&quot; link on the details page. &nbsp;Your business will then be linked to your Yahoo account, and when you go to <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com">listings.local.yahoo.com</a>, you can click on the &quot;Local Listings Account Center&quot; link in the upper right hand corner to see all your business listings.</p> <p>If your business is not yet listed, go to <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com">listings.local.yahoo.com</a> and click on the &quot;Sign Up&quot; button. &nbsp;You will be presented with a form to fill out your business details like address, phone number, service description, and hours of operation.</p> <p>For more information about Yahoo Local Listings, check out the <a href="http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/ysm/ll/index.html">help page for Yahoo Local Listings</a>&nbsp;or visit the <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com">start page for Yahoo Local Listings</a>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: Upgrade to an Enhanced or Featured Listing</strong></p> <p>And just like the other options, Yahoo offers premium listings that you can purchase to give your business more prominence. &nbsp;Yahoo Local offers two levels of premium listings: Enhanced or Featured.</p> <p>An <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com/enh.php">Enhanced Listing</a> costs $9.95 per month. &nbsp;You get to add up to 10 photos, a longer description of your business, and stats on how often people see and click on your listing.</p> <p>A <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com/feat.php">Featured Listing</a> puts your business in the sponsored results section of Yahoo search results. &nbsp;Pricing ranges from $15-$300 per month depending on the size of your city and demand for your service. &nbsp;<a href="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/cn/lp/rc_3.jpg">Click here to view current pricing details</a>.</p> <p>Check out this page for a <a href="http://listings.local.yahoo.com/comp.php">comparison of features for the Basic, Enhanced, and Featured Listings</a>.</p> <h2>Your Next Steps</h2> <p>At the very least, make sure your local small business is listed at all three sites. &nbsp;It will cost you nothing but a little time, and you will reach the majority of people searching online for a local service. &nbsp;</p> <p>When you are ready to spend a little money (say, less than $100 per month) on increasing your local exposure, the best bang for your buck will be Google AdWords (step 2A in the Google section above). &nbsp;Using AdWords, you can set a low spending limit and get your feet wet with online advertising.</p> <p>For a budget of more than $100 per month, consider getting both the Yahoo Enhanced Listing, buying advertising on Yelp, and (if available in your area) getting a Google Local Ad Listing. &nbsp;</p> <p>Even though the Yahoo Enhanced listing will only cost $9.95 per month, I wouldn't advise spending that money until you've spent some money on AdWords because (a) the Enhanced Listing only provides the same features and stats as a free Yelp or Google listing, and (b) Yahoo Local searches don't reach as many people as Yelp or Google.</p> <p>A final word: keep track of where your leads are coming from to maximize your local advertising budget. &nbsp;Spend your money on the site/campaign that produces the lowest cost per lead.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "platinum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/forget-the-phonebook-3-local-marketing-initiatives-with-higher-rois">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Technology advertising local marketing small business small business ads Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:55:00 +0000 Greg Go 3752 at http://www.wisebread.com How to get half-price dining from your local TV station. http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/news.jpg" alt="this just in half price meals" title="this just in half price meals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="208" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="rteindent2">Did you know that your local TV and radio stations regularly receive gift certificates as &ldquo;payment&rdquo; for air time? Believe it or not, retailers and restaurants are actually exchanging hundreds of gift certificates for exclusive air time on the networks. Then, the stations turn around and sell those certificates to viewers for half-price. They win. You win. And I&rsquo;ll show you where to find them online. </p> <p>I stumbled across this quite by accident. A friend of my wife sent her a link to a local TV station selling $50 gift certificates to a local restaurant for just $25 a piece. Being a cynical shopper, I was hesitant to believe it. It screamed of &ldquo;buyer beware.&rdquo; But, as it turns out, it&rsquo;s completely legit. And after my usual digging around on the intertubes, I found out the back story. <a href="http://www.businessreport.com/news/2008/jun/16/value-meals-and-deals/">Stephanie Riegel, of BusinessReport.com</a>, reported last June of this growing new trend among the TV and radio stations. <br /> <em><br /> The company that came up with the concept is the Cleveland-based IncentRev, and it&rsquo;s a coupon broker that facilitates the on-air promotions. Essentially, it works like this: A retailer&mdash;say, a new restaurant&mdash;&ldquo;buys&rdquo; exclusive air time with the station in exchange for 100 gift certificates, which the station then promotes on air for half-price. Viewers can buy the gift certificates on a first-come, first-serve basis by accessing the station&rsquo;s Web site. All parties involved say it&rsquo;s a win-win arrangement. Viewers get a bargain. A small retailer essentially receives free advertising. And IncentRev, which does all the paperwork, and the station split the money. </em></p> <p>So, that's the back story. Like Stephanie points out, everyone's a winner in this deal. The restaurants and retailers get some pretty inexpensive air time. The stations get some extra cash. And the viewers get 50% discounts. However, you no longer need to watch or listen to the stations to access the deals. By doing a simple substitution in the web address I was forwarded, you can see deals in your own area, right now.</p> <p><strong>Call letters + web address = big savings. <br /> </strong></p> <p>I live in Colorado, and my local Fox affiliate's call letters are KDVR. When I put that in front of INCENTREV's web address, I get the following link: <a href="http://kdvr.incentrev.com/">http://kdvr.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>I did a few others at random, just for kicks.</p> <p>If you live in Ohio, you could try this one: <a href="http://wtte.incentrev.com/">http://wtte.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>Here's one for Mississippi: <a href="http://wlox.incentrev.com/">http://wlox.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>And one for Rhode Island: <a href="http://wwli.incentrev.com/">http://wwli.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>You see how easy the formula is. You can find a complete list of call letters for TV stations in your area <a href="http://www.shgresources.com/resources/tv/">right here</a>. And <a href="http://www.shgresources.com/resources/radio/">this one features radio</a>. Just click on your state and you'll get the info. Please note, note every station is running promotions or has signed up with IncentRev, so if the web address doesn't work just keep replacing the call letters until you find a deals page. There may be several in your state.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: An even quicker method.</strong></p> <p>Wisebread reader Daniel pointed this out in the comments and it's super-quick. Instead of trial and error, type in your state, and or your city site followed by :incentrev.com into Google. Example: indiana site:incentrev.com.&nbsp;I found three local stations with offers not only from restaurants but indoor sky diving and Salsa classes. If anyone out there has top-notch web skills, maybe you could program a simple interface - just type in the name of your city and state and click &quot;find.&quot; I'm sure it's easy enough if you know html. Which I don't I'm afraid.</p> <p><strong>Any catches?</strong></p> <p>Well, they do have a limited number of certificates for a restaurant or retailer, usually between 100-150. And they also go on sale at a certain time, and get snapped up fast. Tomorrow I'll be logging on at 9am to grab half-price certifictaes for a great Mexican restaurant in my area. Other people have also mentioned that TV and radio stations are becoming bogged down with anchors and DJs selling you all kinds of stuff, thanks to these certificate deals. But I really don't care. I don't watch them,&nbsp;I just go straight to the site to see what's available.</p> <p>So, there you go. Find your local deals page, log on at the right time and bag yourself some cheap eats. Bon appetit. </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hambone-soup-and-13-other-hambone-recipes">Hambone Soup and 13 Other Hambone Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">Big List of Birthday Freebies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink call letters discount local meals news restaurants station Thu, 08 Jan 2009 19:18:18 +0000 Paul Michael 2720 at http://www.wisebread.com When MySpace Meets your Local Producer: Fresh Food Makes a Tech Leap http://www.wisebread.com/when-myspace-meets-your-local-producer-fresh-food-makes-a-tech-leap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-myspace-meets-your-local-producer-fresh-food-makes-a-tech-leap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/farmers market.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="265" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn are familiar (and often tired) ways to reach out to others with similar interests and goals.<span> </span>So why am I not surprised to see Social Networking hit the local farmer’s market?<span> </span>Check out the newest way to connect with your farmer down the dusty road. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.farmfoody.org/">FarmFoody.org</a> is just in the beginning stages of its (hopefully) long life.<span> </span>Working as an easy way to connect local farmers with local foodies, it offers a simple but effective communication tool to be sure you’re buying the best!<span> </span>Here’s how it works: </p> <ul> <li> Go to <a href="http://www.farmfoody.org/">FarmFoody.org</a> to register either as a foodie (like me) or a farm that offers a vineyard, PYO, Farmer&#39;s Market, CSA, a victory garden – or any other type of local producer.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Confirm your membership and start building your profile!<span> </span>You can connect and make friends with people near you or near places that you plan on visiting or vacationing (for an awesome local travel experience!) </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Share recipes, video, or just get to know and support the local system.<span> </span>It’s good for everyone! </li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">While FarmFoody is in the building phase (many farms near and around Virginia), they are expanding, and new farms are added every day.<span> </span>I have found a few within driving distance that I’m excited to check out!<span> </span>If you don’t have any luck getting connected to the freshest food in your area, you might want to try <a href="http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?pd=Home">Eatwell</a>, which gives listings for many more combined markets, but doesn’t offer the same kind of interaction with individual farmers and suppliers. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you’re not up to the task of growing your own, this is a tool worth investing in. <span> </span>It’s free, fun, and with the right amount of interest, communities across the nation can experience the flavor that only fresh-grown can provide.<span> </span>Why not help a farmer out and mention FarmFoody for their local operation?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-myspace-meets-your-local-producer-fresh-food-makes-a-tech-leap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink Technology farm Food fresh local organic social networking Wed, 13 Aug 2008 15:09:51 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2325 at http://www.wisebread.com Local Currencies http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/local-currencies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silver-and-gold-coins.jpg" alt="Gold and Silver Coins" title="Gold and Silver Coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because the advantages of trade (lower prices) fall into the hands of the person making the decision (the buyer), there&#39;s a constant tendency to move toward freer trade, unless there&#39;s some sort of institutional pressure in the opposite direction.</p> <p>The government is one source of institutional pressure. It can impose tariffs or create a vast array of other trade barriers--import quotas, local content rules, regulations designed to favor local producers, rules on the movement of capital and labor, etc. There are also non-governmental institutions structures intended to favor localization. One is local currencies.</p> <h2>History of local currencies</h2> <p>Local currencies are reinvented all the time.</p> <h3>Tokens</h3> <p>At my local &quot;Taste of Champaign&quot; (a community event where restaurants set up booths in the park), the organizers sell &quot;tickets&quot; which are then used to buy food. This provides <strong>security</strong> (the actual cash money is all in one central location), <strong>convenience</strong> (prices are all in whole numbers of tickets, so there&#39;s no need to make change) and <strong>profit</strong> (tickets are sold in packets of 5, so some people will go home with unused tickets). Disney World does much the same thing. Subway and bus tokens fall into this category as well.</p> <p>Tokens have always been used to promote <strong>customer loyalty</strong>, much as prepaid gift cards are used now--the business has your money, so they&#39;re pretty sure you&#39;re going to come back. Things like frequent flier miles and frequent customer punch cards also serve this purpose.</p> <p>When there has been a shortage of money, such as during a deflation, businesses would try to use tokens as a way to <strong>conserve cash</strong>. The proverbial &quot;wooden nickels&quot; that you&#39;re not supposed to take are an example. The business would make change as usual, but include a wooden nickel--which it would accept as five cents in a future transaction. Sometimes those wooden nickels, especially if issued by local store that was viewed as sound and sold a wide range of merchandise, would actually enter the local circulation, with other shops accepting them and then either giving them out in change or redeeming them at the store where they had been issued.</p> <h3>Beyond tokens</h3> <p>Local currencies in larger denominations are sometimes issued by a major employer when it can&#39;t get its hands on enough cash to meet payroll. Sometimes called &quot;scrip,&quot; this was usually intended to be redeemed in legal tender once the cash shortage was over, but could circulate as money, with local businesses accepting the scrip as payment, since the alternatives were either to offer credit or to do no business at all. </p> <p>Local currencies were also sometimes issued by local governments, which would agree to take the scrip back for payment of taxes, giving it a definite value.</p> <h2>Modern local currencies</h2> <p>For the past sixty years, modern central banking has made the sort of deflationary panic that led to money shortage nearly unheard of. (We&#39;ve been much more likely to face inflation instead.) However, local communities still suffer from the other downsides of globalization that I talked about in <a href="/trade-versus-localization">Trade versus localization</a>. In particular, the profits made at chain stores and the like are drawn out of the community. There&#39;s a movement to resist that, through the use of local currencies.</p> <p>The basic idea is to have a currency which is only of value locally. The big chain stores won&#39;t take it, so it won&#39;t be drained out of the community that way.</p> <p>To make the currency valuable, someone has to accept it as payment, which is why currency issued by governments and large local businesses are typically more successful than others. But it&#39;s possible to bootstrap a local currency without any such support. Any group of people that gets together and agrees to accept a local currency can make it work, and there are plenty of successful examples.</p> <p>Why would you accept local currency when you could hold out for dollars? Generally, only if you were pretty sure someone else would accept the local currency when you wanted to buy something. Most businesses that sell actual things (where the supplies probably need to be bought with dollars) can&#39;t afford to accept local currency (or can only accept it for a fraction of the transaction), but local currencies can be pretty appealing for people who offer services and who want to buy services--especially among people who are chronically under-employed.</p> <p>For example, an aroma therapist can take local currency from clients who would otherwise be unable to afford the services. The therapist can then hire a dog walker who can then go to a massage therapist who can then hire a babysitter, etc.</p> <p>Perhaps the most commonly cited success is <a href="http://www.ithacahours.org/">Ithaca HOURS</a>, a local currency used in Ithaca, New York. That local currency is denominated in hours, with a goal of encouraging people to value the labor involved in doing the work (although there&#39;s no rule that says you can&#39;t charge more or less than one Ithaca HOUR for one hour of labor). The Ithaca HOURS website includes a directory of people who have agreed to accept them in payment, and although there are plenty of yoga instructors and spiritual counselors, there are also accountants and bakeries and roofing contractors.</p> <p>While Ithaca HOURS are actual, paper bills that change hands, there is no need for physical notes. Many other systems, such as <a href="http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/">LETS</a>, <a href="http://www.timekeeper.org/whatis.html">Time Dollars</a> , and <a href="http://www.timebanks.org/">Time Banking</a> are essentially a bookkeeping system--a central registry keeps track of who has (or owes) some number of dollars or hours.</p> <p>Nearly all of these systems are designed so that holdings of local currency earn no interest. (Some are even designed so that holdings actually decline in value.) The point is for the money to actually circulate, promoting commerce. When there are productive assets sitting idle, that actually works. (This fact is why inflation is often welcomed in the early stages. It goes badly awry, though, if there isn&#39;t ample productive capacity sitting idle.)</p> <h2>Private money</h2> <p>There&#39;s a completely different kind of money sometimes called &quot;private money,&quot; often backed by gold or silver, which is very nearly the opposite of local currencies.</p> <p>One example of private money is <a href="http://www.e-gold.com/">e-gold</a>, an internet payment system that denominates accounts in terms of ounces or grams of gold or silver. One account holder can pay another in grams, ounces, dollars, euros, etc., and the system converts the payment into a specific amount of precious metal (if necessary) and moves that amount from one account to another.</p> <p><a href="http://www.libertydollar.org/">Liberty Dollars</a>, on the other hand, are actual, physical gold and silver coins (and some paper money as well). </p> <p>Because precious metals are universally recognized, private money does not have the &quot;local currency&quot; effect of increasing commerce.</p> <h2>Legality and taxes</h2> <p>In the United States, there&#39;s no law that requires people to use dollars. (The legal tender laws require that you accept dollars in settlement of a debt that&#39;s denominated in dollars, but since 1975 it has been legal to write a contract that requires settlement in gold (or Ithaca HOURS) and courts will enforce it.) Anybody can create any currency they want, as long as they don&#39;t pretend that it&#39;s US dollars or make them look so similar as to violate the counterfeiting laws. </p> <p>As far as the IRS is concerned, any sort of economic transaction probably involves income on one side or the other (and probably both). If a handyman builds a new porch for a dentist and the dentist puts braces on the handyman&#39;s kid, the IRS expects that each person would pay taxes as if he&#39;d been paid in cash for the services. Since no actual cash is changing hands, it&#39;s easier as a practical matter to fudge around the edges in terms of exactly how much income is involved, but the taxes are still owed. With local currencies, the situation is roughly the same--you need to pay taxes (in dollars) on the value of whatever income you receive, but it&#39;s up to you to keep track, to decide what the dollar equivalent is, to report the income, and to send in the payment.</p> <p>Let me note that I don&#39;t use any local currency or private money system. Do your own research and use your own best judgement before choosing to do business using any of these systems.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hoopde-for-sale-starting-price-500-winning-bid-226521">Hoopde for sale. Starting price - $500. Winning bid - $226,521.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-ive-been-trying-to-say">What I&#039;ve been trying to say</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks currency local money Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:10:30 +0000 Philip Brewer 1316 at http://www.wisebread.com Trade versus localization http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trade-versus-localization" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/farmers-market-narrow.jpg" alt="Scene at a farmers market" title="Scene at a farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="397" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Localization--eating locally grown foods and buying locally produced goods--has become trendy just lately. For the past twenty years, though, globalization has been the dominate force. The tension between trade and localization is not a new one.</p> <p>The advantages of trade are obvious. Let&#39;s say you can design a website in four hours, but it would take you six hours to make a wooden box. Meanwhile, your neighbor is a cabinet maker, for whom the amount of labor involved would be reversed. Clearly, you both come out ahead if you make two websites, your neighbor to makes two boxes, and then you work out some sort of exchange.</p> <p>In this case--if you can do one thing better and your counterpart can do some other thing better (if each of you has an &quot;absolute advantage&quot; in some task)--the advantages of trade are intuitive. It turns out though, that even if one of you is better at <strong>everything</strong>, you still both come out ahead if you engage in trade.</p> <p>Let&#39;s say your neighbor is a polymath, who is not only a master cabinet maker, but can also design a web site as good as your best in half the time. If his fine wooden boxes sell for hundreds of dollars though, then it would still make sense for him to buy his website from you, because even if he could make a website in two hours to your four, he could spend those hours making his boxes and then sell them for more than it would cost to buy a website from you.</p> <p>(This idea, called the theory of &quot;comparative advantage,&quot; is credited to David Ricardo who described it in an important economics book in 1817.)</p> <p>Economists, though, have always had trouble advancing the case for trade in the face the natural preference for people to prefer to trade with their neighbors rather than with strangers.</p> <p>At times the tendency to buy local has been very strong. For example, small towns and rural communities in 19th century United States usually had only a single cash crop. The result was that the community received the whole year&#39;s cash income all at once at harvest time. That money could support any number of local purchases--going to the cobbler for shoes, then to the tanner for shoe leather, then to the rancher for hides to tan, then to the farmer for cattle feed, and so on. But eventually, someone would buy something from out of town--the cobbler would buy new needles, or the farmer would buy seed--and the money would leave the local economy. Since the community had nothing to sell beyond their one cash crop, every economic transaction with someone outside the economy drained cash out of the community.</p> <p>The tension between trade on the one hand and localization on the other, then, is fundamental--there&#39;s no wrong side.</p> <p>The economists point out that <em>trade makes everyone better off</em>--but what they mean is that <em>trade raises the average standard of living.</em> An individual who used to make things needed in the local market, but can&#39;t compete with lower-cost producers, will suffer--and all economists can suggest is that this calls for a &quot;period of adjustment,&quot; during which the uncompetitive producers adapt.</p> <p>The localizers, for their part, point out that being &quot;better off&quot; is a notion that goes beyond simply having the highest possible standard of living, and includes things like doing work that you find satisfying and having fulfilling relationships with your neighbors. </p> <p>Because the tension is fundamental, there&#39;s no solution. Lower-cost products will continue to draw buyers, putting higher-cost producers out of business. Activists of many different sorts will continue to push for localization.</p> <p>The main tool of the localizers is moral suasion--urging people to &quot;buy american&quot; or &quot;buy union&quot; or to &quot;eat a 100-mile diet,&quot; often expressed as slogans (The American diet is too important to be outsourced!). Their secondary tool is government regulation, but that&#39;s been hard to come by these past twenty years.</p> <p>After years of being inclined toward the free trade side of things, I&#39;ve found myself shifting to more of a middle position. This is partly because I see fuel becoming more expensive. More expensive transportation will take away some of the advantage of low-cost but distant producers, and it would be nice if we could preserve some of our local production so as to have something to build on when it is no longer cost-effective to ship lettuce from California or broccoli from Argentina.</p> <p>The advantage of trade is simple: higher standards of living, by buying everything from the lowest-cost producer. The advantages of localization are more complex: local production makes the local economy more diverse and more stable; it lets people (both buyers and sellers) be more in tune with nature, growing and eating seasonal foods; it lets people do more of what they love, and less of what global markets will pay the most for.</p> <p>Neither side will win; the pendulum always swings back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-putting-on-recession-pounds">How to Avoid Putting on Recession Pounds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-refillable-things-that-will-save-you-cash">10 Refillable Things That Will Save You Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/soy-milk-tofu-and-veggie-burgers-for-pennies-anyone">Soy Milk, Tofu, and Veggie Burgers for pennies, anyone?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-did-your-ipod-come-from-the-story-of-stuff-0">Where Did Your iPod Come From? The Story of Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Financial News Food and Drink Green Living Lifestyle eat local economics globalization local Sat, 20 Oct 2007 22:50:23 +0000 Philip Brewer 1305 at http://www.wisebread.com Possible Backlash Against Cheap Imports? http://www.wisebread.com/possible-backlash-against-cheap-imports <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/garbage.jpg" alt=" " width="202" height="219" /></p> <p>Is there a backlash against cheap Chinese imports coming? I, for one, secretly hope so.</p> <p>We&#39;ve known that it can&#39;t last forever, haven&#39;t we? This spending spree that Americans have been partaking in - between our big TVs, our cheap clothes and Target shoes, even many ingredients in our food - it has to end. Our trade deficit with China was long ago recognized as a problem, but not one that Americans were willing to really do anything about - as long as both of our economies kept growing, we felt, we should just keep doing what we&#39;re doing.</p> <p>I&#39;m as guilty of loving inexpensive good as anyone else. I like my cheap Chinese shoes on eBay, I really do. I like shopping at Target. I love low-cost imports as much as the next yuppie. Hell, the Pergo floors that I installed in my basement last weekend were from China. </p> <p>The Washington Post had an<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/19/AR2007051901273.html"> excellent article</a>* a couple of weeks ago about tainted Chinese goods that arrive in US ports every single day. Rotting shellfish, produce dyed and sprayed with banned chemicals, and the well-known <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/06/pet_food_recall56.html">melamine/acetomenaphine-in-the-dog-food problem</a> - is there <strong>anything</strong> that China sends over here that is really GOOD for us, other than Jet Li (rowr)? </p> <p>I don&#39;t blame China, not entirely. Oh, I have my problems with China&#39;s economy and growth, their artificially undervalued currency, and a host of other political and economic issues. But when it comes down to it, they are providing what we Americans are asking for. Sure, they&#39;re doing it in an slightly underhanded way by undercutting the competition thought unfair labor practices and cheap production, but we&#39;re buying it, so we can&#39;t solely point the finger at China. </p> <p>However, it&#39;s become clear lately that we&#39;re not just getting less expensive goods from China, we&#39;re getting dangerously crappy goods from China.</p> <p>Remember back in the 1980s, when Lee &quot;Airbag&quot; Iacoca was going on and on about Japanese cars infiltrating our markets, and how we should all &quot;Buy American&quot;? I&#39;ve long been suspicious of this kind of talk, mostly because it&#39;s often framed in jingoist language and a rah-rah, flag-flying, &quot;We&#39;re the BEST country in the world&quot; rhetoric that I find both tedious and slightly dangerous. </p> <p>I&#39;ve got nothing against national pride, but I feel like Americans often take it just a bit too far. After all, Japanese cars were, and still are, far superior to comparatively priced American-made cars. Who can argue with the idea of getting the best product for your money? Isn&#39;t that what capitalism is all about?</p> <p>The problem is that the cheap items that we are getting from China aren&#39;t high quality. My Japanese car is awesome - my cheap Chinese shoes? Well, they&#39;re cheap. There&#39;s a world of difference between something produced by skilled technicians and underpaid sweatshop laborers.</p> <p>Now, those of us who are younger than 30 don&#39;t really remember a time in which clothing lasted for years - sure, you might have had your favorite jeans for a few years, but most of us go through an entire wardrobe every few years. This is partly because we buy trendy stuff that goes out of style, and partly because stuff just doesn&#39;t last as long as it used to. I have some shirts that I LOVE, purchased from Target in October, that are coming apart at the seams. I&#39;ve worn each shirt maybe ten times each, and yet they look like hell.</p> <p>Go into an antique or consignment store, and look at some vintage dresses. Anything that&#39;s been cared for is probably still in excellent shape. The worksmanship was superior back then, when clothing was made on a smaller scale, in small factories or by seamstresses. Before The GAP. Before Target. Before WalMart and Starbucks. Before every town in the US had a Red Robin and an Eddie Bauer. </p> <p>I know this seems awfully French of me. And I know that we Americans are not French. But perhaps we can learn something from them, and find a sort of national pride in our products, minus the Toby Keith songtrack. What if we cared enough about our economy, jobs, and health to buy less but buy BETTER products? How many pets have to die before we start insisting that the food we feed them is free from poison?</p> <p>I know that our mass consumerist mentality isn&#39;t totally American, but it certainly seems that we take it to the extreme. The French (and other Europeans) have an ongoing love affair with bespoke (custom-made) items, such a clothing and shoes. They understand the difference between quality and quantity, and will pay more for a good, custom-tailored shirt than we would, because it will last a long time and look fantastic. Not every Frenchman can afford a bespoke suit, of course, and I&#39;m sure that plenty of Italians buy cheap Chinese junk off of eBay. </p> <p>But <a href="http://atlas.aaas.org/index.php?part=2">no one can top America</a> in terms of consumption, whether we are talking about energy, food, oil, or other resources. </p> <div class="blockquote">The average European uses 130 kilos of paper a year -- the equivalent of two trees. The average American uses more than twice as much -- a staggering 330 kilos a year. The paper and board industry is the United States&#39; third largest source of pollution, while its products make up 38 percent of municipal waste. <p>And that&#39;s just paper! Imagine the terrifying statistics for pleather!</p> <p>Is America ready to let go of our addiction to cheap crap? I&#39;m not suggesting that we&#39;ll all be swilling the finest champagne and downing foie gras, because that&#39;s not really what Wise Bread is about. Cheap is OK, but lots and lots of cheap sort of defeats the purpose of cheapness.</p> <p>Is it possible that we, as a country, might finally look around at our stuffed garages and huge credit card bills and overflowing garbage cans and decide that enough is enough? How many more pets have to die, and how many more people need to go bankrupt from credit card debt before we finally learn to pare down, save up, and spend well?</p> <p>*I&#39;m aware that Consumerist linked this article, but I actually read it first at The Washington Post.</p> </div> <div><em>Picture by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/88573703@N00/">kamaru</a>.</em></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/possible-backlash-against-cheap-imports">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/canadians-try-to-kill-your-pets-pet-food-recall">Canadians Try To Kill Your Pets - Pet Food Recall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mouthwashes">The 5 Best Mouthwashes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Chinese imports local meat melamine recall tainted Fri, 08 Jun 2007 23:39:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 679 at http://www.wisebread.com